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The Bismarck Tobacco Prevention Youth Summit will be held Wed., Oct. 7th, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. in the Rembrandt Room at the Radisson Hotel.
Summit attendees will learn techniques to be successful tobacco-prevention advocates from well-known experts in tobacco prevention. Experts will educate attendees on how increasing the price of tobacco and making local parks tobacco free can prevent our youth from taking up the habit of ever using tobacco.
Tobacco prevention expert and keynote speaker Char Day has been involved in tobacco control for over 20 years. Char is the program manager for Americans for Nonsmoker’s Rights (ANR) and the ANR Foundation and provides technical assistance in support of clean indoor air and tobacco free policies.
Char has traveled across the country energizing, empowering, and advocating for youth of allbackgrounds. She is an incredibly passionate individual who inspires those who hear her speak to get out and make a positive impact on their community.
The opening speaker, Hannah Rexine, a senior at Century High School, is involved with Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and is a board member of the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy Advisory Committee. For several years, she has been active in educating the Bismarck community on the need for tobacco prevention efforts.
“North Dakota has many beautiful parks visited by people of all ages,” said Rexine. “Providing a tobacco free environment will reduce the littering of these products and insure clean air for everyone."
Rexine said that “tobacco free parks allow our youth to enjoy these areas without being influenced by these products. I believe this is another step towards decreasing youth tobacco use rates.”
The amount of youth using cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in North Dakota is still higher than the national average. According to the 2013 North Dakota Youth Risk Behavior Survey 19.0% of youth smoke cigarettes and 13.8% use smokeless tobacco. These rates both exceed the national average of 16.0% of youth smoking and 9.0% youth using smokeless tobacco.
Bismarck public high schools and middle schools, along with St. Mary’s High School and Light ofChrist’s 7th and 8th grade Academy will be sending student representatives and a faculty tobaccoprevention coordinator to the summit.
In the weeks and month following the summit, attending students will work with their school’s tobacco prevention coordinator to create activities for the Great American Smokeout (November 19, 2015), Through with Chew Week (February 15-19, 2016), Great American Spit Out (February 19, 2016), and Kick Butts Day (March 16, 2016).
The Bismarck Tobacco Prevention Youth Summit is organized by Bismarck Burleigh Public Health to educate the students about youth tobacco prevention activities, youth empowerment, and changing social norms.